13 Jan 2017

Set Fire to the Stars

The Adelphi presents: Gruff Rhys and guests

Regarded as one of the most imaginative bands of our time by Billboard Magazine, Super Furry Animals are best known for their blend of psychedelic rock and (perhaps) for those super furry outfits they rock up on stage with.

However, many of us have become familiar with lead singer and maverick Gruff Rhys – a man who throws a concoction of music, art and theatre together in his work. One little beauty is the soundtrack he composed for the Dylan Thomas biopic Set Fire to the Stars starring Elijah Wood and Celyn Jones. The film documents Thomas’s first trip to America – which provides a glimpse into the life of the Welsh poet during the 1950s, when John Brinnin invited Thomas to New York for poetry readings – all directed by Andy Goddard.

As the black and white film was originally set during the Jazz age, Rhys only uses instruments used in that period, to create a mostly instrumental record. The only track that was an exception to this was Atom Bomb which on screen, plays on a jukebox in a café. To complete the record, Gruff formed an “aggro-jazz” quartet with Gavin Fitzjohn scoring and performing parts for brass.

Presented by The Adelphi, Gruff will be performing the soundtrack on tour, stopping off at Middleton Hall at the University of Hull on 31 January with the boys from surf instrumental band Y Niwl – Alun Tan Lan, Gruff Ab Arwel and Siôn Glyn. Kansas-born drummer Kliph Scurlock and walking brass section Gavin Fitzjohn will also be joining them, stopping by Glasgow, Manchester, Cardiff New Theatre and London ICA with Hull being the final call. Director Dylan Goch will reimagine and remix the monochrome movie, alongside DJs from ‘Finders Keepers‘.

In addition to the soundtrack, ticketholders will be able to view a free screening of the film Set Fire to the Stars (certificate 15) at 7pm. Make sure you arrive a little earlier (6.30pm) to view both though.

Tickets cost £16.50, grab yours here.

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